n the last 10 years, the best way to tell what Whitstable’s weather will be like is to see if you can see the wind farm. Located 6 miles off the coast, the Kentish Flats Wind farm produces enough electricity to power 60,000 homes and currently consists of 30 wind turbines. Currently Vattenfall, the company that operates the farm, is adding another 15 turbines. This expansion can be seen, and sometimes felt and heard, from Whitstable beach.
Although they appear to be small on the horizon, each turbine is 115m tall with a rotor diameter of 90m. This makes them taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York, with a rotor that is the same width as the pitch at Wembley Stadium. Quite an amazing feat of modern engineering. They are designed to withstand extreme weather and are frequently struck by lightening.
On a clear day, eagle eyed spotters will be able to spot the wind farm that is further out, just off the coast of Thanet, and is the third largest farm in the World.
However, the beauty of the Kentish Flats farm is on a misty day when they appear ghostly and white out of unseen waters. Or on a hot, summer’s day, when they appear much closer to the shore. They are a constantly changing part of Whitstable’s landscape.
And the locals have grown to love them, for many driving down Borstal Hill and seeing the windmills is a sign that they are home.
It is possible to get close to them; The Greta’s boat tours take in the sights of the windmills on the way to see the other horizon defining structures, the Maunsell Sea Forts.
If you are lucky enough to get out to see them, they are marvelous to behold and provide perfect picture opportunities in all seasons and weathers.